Goose Cottage (Poppy Cottage, Norton Court Estate Cottage - No 16a)

At the time that the Inclosures came to Norton in 1807 the site of the  two properties that became Estate Nos 16 and 16a looked a little different and were identified as Plot No 77, a cottage and garden of 16 perches owned by John Tombs.

It has not proved straightforward to identify occupants of Nos 16 and 16a or even to determine when the cottage was split, or was it built as two separate cottages, etc.

William, son of Thomas Oakley and Ann (nee Hawker) who had lived at Norton since 1829, married Clara Burrop in Gloucester in 1880 and it is known that they lived in the right hand side of the thatched cottage at the Green from marriage, having three children here; Albert, Alfred and Florence.  This would be what is now 16a, Goose Cottage, and William and Clara lived here possibly into the early 1900s when they crossed the Green to cottage No 8.

William and Clara Oakley with their children

The first time this property has been identified actually named as cottage No 16a was not till 1939 and its early history has been included in that for Norton Court Estate Cottage No 16, more recently October Cottage.

In 1939 William and Amelia Bailey were in residence.  The couple had been living at ‘The Green’ and likely at No 16a since 1924 if not earlier.  There had been a Bailey family at Norton for many years but I can find no connections to this couple.

At the time of the 1952 auction of the Norton Court Estate the house was Lot No 19 and was described as follows; “… being No 16a, adjoining the previous Lot.  It is built of stone, has a thatched roof and contains; Living room with fireplace, oven and sham, and larder cupboard, landing bedroom and bedroom.  Lean to wash house, EC and coal house.  The assessment for rates is £4, the current half year’s payment being £1 16s 4d.  This Lot is sold subject to the owner or occupier of Lot Eighteen sharing the well on this Lot, the cost of the maintenance to be borne equally by the respective owners.  Vacant possession will be given on completion of the purchase”.  At the auction it appears to have sold for £350.

Between at least 1954-56 Henry George and Florence Eleanor Trigg were here followed between 1960-62 by Walter E and Edith C Rees with Edward G Davey also in residence.  The Rees’ were still here in 1966

Later, the cottage acquired the name ‘Poppy Cottage’, and in the 1980s was occupied by Dr Nicholas H and Virginia W 'Polly' Taylor.  Michael Charity wrote the following piece;

“The hard weather over the past few weeks has proved a sure test of Dr Nick Taylor’s skills as a thatcher’s labourer.  Needless to say he has passed with flying colours, for his gaffer and guide was Bob Carpenter of Daglingworth, near Cirencester, one of the craft’s leading practitioners in the Cotswolds.  Dr Taylor, a GP practising in Gloucester, offered Bob his part-time services last summer when he employed him to thatch his eighteenth century home, Poppy Cottage, at Norton Green, Bishops Norton.  With more than three hundred bundles of Devon wheat reed needed atop the ladder, the doctor’s half-day holidays from the surgery were full of ups and downs, but he now looks back on the month-long job with pleasure and satisfaction.  As for the roof, Bob reckons it will last for the best part of forty years, given normal weather conditions; it could certainly not have started with a cleaner bill of health”.

The Citizen, 28 September 1983 “Master of his craft !”  Thatcher, Bob Carpenter, of Daglingworth, practises his ancient craft on the roof of Poppy Cottage, Norton, the house of local GP Dr Nick Taylor and his wife.  Using a legget – a thatcher’s tool – he carefully pegs in the sheaves of Devon wheat reed … and the cottage is watertight for another few years.


I believe this photo dates from after the re-thatch.

In 2002 Norma M Tribble was living here.

The property has more lately been known as Goose Cottage.

In 2021 the property was still named Goose Cottage and was owned by David and Sally Rolls who also owned Cottage No 16, October Cottage, next door.  In 2020/21 the property was marketed by Savills at £250,000 and was described as follows in the sale brochure; 

“Goose Cottage offers an opportunity to purchase a charming semi detached cottage, built in stone and brick with white painted elevations under a thatched and corrugated roof, believed to date from around 1750. The current owners, who have owned the property for around 30 years, live next door. At various times, family members have lived in Goose Cottage and more recently, the owners have successfully let the cottage. A new kitchen was installed in 2017 at the same time the property was re-wired.  The accommodation is based on an enclosed porch leading to a small hallway leading to the sitting room with large fireplace and dining area. Also on the ground floor is the well fitted kitchen with window to the front overlooking the village green, and a ground floor shower room. Upstairs there is a useful large landing space with fitted cupboards leading through to the bedroom.  The property sits off the no-through village lane opposite the green and pond. To the side is graveled off road parking . There is a small courtyard area at the rear and room at the front of the cottage for a garden table and chairs, with some well planted flower borders”.